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Federal Legislative History

This guide will discuss the types of documents that comes from the legislative process and the steps taken to locate legislative documents.

Compilied Legislative Histories

Considerable time can be saved if a compiled legislative history already exists for the law in question. Compiled legislative histories are of two types: (1) those put together for selected laws by previous researchers and (2) those issued on a regular continuing basis by commercial sources.

To determine whether such a legislative history has been compiled, check the sources below.

Steps to Compiling a Federal Legislative History

  • Check to see if a legislative history already exists
  • Locate the bill number
  • Identify citations to committee reports, hearings, congressional floor action, debates, amendments, and presidential messages
  • Locate the documents themselves

Other Tools for Locating or Compiling Legislative Histories

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